J&K sacks 12 officials for allegedly fuelling unrest

The Mehbooba Mufti government in Jammu and Kashmir has sacked 12 officials for their alleged role in fuelling unrest in the state. More than 100 others are being watched closely, and there could be more sackings, reports said.

The dismissal from service of the 12 government employees for "anti-national activities" was ordered on Wednesday evening. Those sacked are mid-level officers from different government departments, including patwaris or land revenue record officials and teachers.

Officials said the government acted on a report prepared by the state police's Crime Investigation Department. Several of those sacked have been charged under the Public Safety Act (PSA), which allows people to be jailed without trial for six months.

More than 90 people have died and over 12,000 have been injured in violent clashes in Kashmir since 8 July, when Hizbul Mujahideen separatist Burhan Wani was killed by security forces. The government has said that the violent protests and stone throwing have been organised and encouraged by insurgents backed by Pakistan.

The action against the government officials comes amid a massive crackdown by the state police in which more than 9,000 people have been arrested for disrupting peace and more than 450 have been detained under the or PSA.

This is second time in 26 years of militancy in Kashmir that government officials have been sacked over allegations of anti-national activities in the state.

In 1990, five officials were sacked for their pro-separatist stand, among them Naeem Akhtar who was then a deputy commissioner in the Excise Department. Akhtar is currently a top People's Democratic Party minister in the Mehbooba Mufti government.

That dismissal had led to a three-month-long strike by government employees in Kashmir.